Friday, April 14, 2017

TANK 432 (2015) (Blu-ray Review)

TANK 432 (2015) 

Label: IFC Midnight/Scream Factory
Region Code: A

Duration: 88 Minutes 
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 with Optional English subtitles 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.40:1)
Director: Nick Gillespie
Cast: Deirdre Mullins, Gordon Kennedy, Michael Smiley, Rupert Evans, Steve Garry

Synopsis: Under siege by a mysterious enemy in an apocalyptic, war-torn landscape, a band of mercenary soldiers, hooded hostages in tow, seek refuge inside an abandoned military tank. But their sanctuary soon reveals itself to be a steel-walled prison. As the group succumbs to claustrophobia, paranoia, and increasingly disturbing delusions, it becomes clear that the real threat may lie not outside, but within. The directorial debut from longtime Wheatley collaborator Nick Gillespie unfolds like a delirious, pulse-pounding puzzle. 

Longtime Ben Wheatley (Kill List) cinematographer Nick Gillespie helms this murky and claustrophobic psychological thriller set during a non-distinct, apocalyptic war, wherein a small band of mercenary soldiers are tasked with seeking and capturing "cargo", a pair of human hostages. Right from the get-go the mercenaries seem to be on run from an ever present, but seldom seen enemy, always nipping on their heels. 

As night sets in they become desperate for cover, taking refuge in Bulldog tank found on the battlefield, but once inside they discover, too late, that the hatch is broken and will not open from the inside. Gathered inside the team, who were already a bit worked up and out of sorts at the start of the film, begin to succumb to paranoia and fear, as they are harassed by a creepy figure outside, an enemy who appears demonic in some scenes, with the very real possibility that it might not even exist. 

As the intense drama of the situation unfolds the men argue and bicker, they begin to turn on one another inside the confines of the tank, which has now become an iron prison. As certain certainties are disputed, and it becomes clear that something is wrong with the whole situation, and while the end does give us a bit of a revelation, which is somewhat expected, it leaves more questions than answers, a bit too much for my taste, particularly when the what ifs seem more entertaining than what I watched. The film has a some mildly interesting images, the look of the antagonistic enemy is keen, but the positives are too few and too far between, I found this one a bit impenetrable, which coming from a collaborator of Ben Wheatley shouldn't be too surprising, but while I find Wheatley's brand of coldly  alienating weirdness a much tastier treat, Tank 432 just feels a pressure cooker which never gets up to a proper boil.  2/5